Archive for the ‘Online’ Category

A (virtual) coffee with… theblogpaper’s Karl Jo Seirlern

June 22, 2010

First things first. For anyone who’s not heard of theblogpaper – what is it?

The backbone of theblogpaper consists of a self-regulating web 2.0 community which creates and promotes articles, photos and comments via rating, thus creating a newspaper. therefore produces the first user generated newspaper in the UK/London.

Where did the idea come from?

Anton Waldburg came up with the idea during his last year of university. He realised that traditional media is failing to attract the young consumer and is generally going through a period of transition. His idea was to create a sustainable newspaper by young people for young people and additionally benefit from the opportunities the web offers.

Tell me about the launch in September. Sounds exciting.

Our launch in September is indeed very exciting. It is the next big step, we want to push the newspaper from a beta print version with a small circulation of only 10,000 issues to the official version with a circulation of 50,000 issues.  Momentarily it is all about selling sufficient ad space to cover all costs in September. This is a tough task, especially with the current situation in the advertising market but we are convinced that we will generate enough advertising partners before the launch.

Will London Evening Standard distributors be giving out theblogpaper? Where?

Yes if everything works according to plan than Evening Standard distributors will give out theblogpaper. The locations are not fully decided yet but we will let the community know asap.

Any plans for distribution outside London?

The plan is definitely to expand this concept nationally and internationally. Yet, we are a niche product, the majority of our readership is made up by a rather specific crowd of students, young creative’s and professionals, etc. There are only a handful of UK cities (such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, etc) that have the size and necessary urban niche markets and requirements needed for our product. Internationally the idea is to expand into cities such as Berlin, NY, Paris, etc.

Is it really the death of print journalism?

We do not believe that the death of the print newspaper will come any time soon but we are absolutely aware that industry is going through a profound period of transition. A struggling advertising market (which always lags behind economic recovery) and an increasing number of online substitutes will diminish newspaper circulations in the long run. Especially products like iPads and Kindles will be a tremendous threat to the common print newspaper. Nevertheless, print media has an obvious optical, emotional and sensitive appeal; therefore, in my opinion there is still room for print journalism if they are able to adjust. Meaning that newspapers/magazines have to be more niche (distinctive personality), more interactive, significantly reduce costs, diversify into multiple platforms (such as; online, radio, etc) and probably become a free sheet since younger generations are rather unwilling to pay for print content. In the future it will be very hard to sustain a media company if the majority of the revenue is produced by a print newspaper.

Top tips for anyone thinking of submitting a blog post to theblogpaper?

Important is that we don’t look for exclusive content, we are looking for timeless quality content. The idea is to filter out the best content our community has to offer. Generally the most successful blogs are either controversial blogs or funny blogs. Funny content gets a lot of interest and generally high votes. Controversial content doesn’t get high votes but a lot of comments and people tend to forget that we not only promote and publish the highest rated content but also the articles that received most comments. Generally we always try to push our community to interact with each other. Only interaction makes this concept work.

Can’t live without: coffee, paper, or tweet

I am an absolute coffee maniac without a litre of coffee in the morning my body does not function a bit.

Anton Waldburg came up with the idea during his last year of university. He realised that traditional media is failing to attract the young consumer and is generally going through a period of transition. His idea was to create a sustainable newspaper by young people for young people and additionally benefit from the opportunities the web offers.

Integrating social media into PR campaigns

May 13, 2010

Another great CIPR NW event at UCLAN’s Media Factory last night. Robin Wilson from McCann Erickson took us through ways of integrating social media into PR campaigns.

Background bits

News now happens in real time (Hudson river crash was tweeted 1st) / There’s been a DECLINE in TRUST – in organisations, politics, etc / There’s a need for 24-7 real time reputation management / There are more grandparents than high school children on Facebook (UK)

Managing online reputations


Which available assets can be used as content?

What is the story you want to create?


LISTEN all the time and track what is being said about the brand

ASSESS whether you should get involved in the conversation

INTERACT with people, engage in two-way conversation

Planning social media strategies

Watch this video – clever AND funny (in a #prgeek kind of way)

It’s all about two-way dialogue – as PRs, we always talk about third party endorsement being more powerful than advertising. This is even more obvious and important now.

When planning a PR campaign, think about what assets you have to share and remember to be human (not overly corporate/unnatural)

Blogger engagement

Read the blog / look at the style and work out how the blogger likes to work / email them to introduce yourself, commenting on something they have posted and offering more information on something that your client is doing which could be of real interest to them. Simples.


Tips for successful online PR:

1 – monitor all online conversations (who’s saying what when?)

2 – develop processes

3 – respond in real time

4 – integrate and develop (work with the other agencies and understand what they do)

Key words: listen, respond, be human, be authentic, be honest, be transparent, engage in dialogue

Recommended reading: Groundswell (free copy for the best 140-character summary of this post)

Cheap trick

January 25, 2010

For an example of desperate PR, take a look at this article on the Daily Mail’s website.

A company called Blighty Arts has developed a game called My Minx, allowing players to buy contraception and orphans for their characters. It’s apparently angered parents of children “as young as seven”. It’s not clear how many children are actually playing the game or how/if it’s marketed to them.

In the game, A Cambodian orphan called Maddox, aged 3, is a “fan of eating cockroaches”, whilst Ethiopian Zahara eats guinea pigs. You can even adopt children from Haiti. How’s that for a news hook?

The PR spin
Quick, cheap publicity with brand mentions, raising its profile overnight.
Position the brand as maverick, controversial, quirky and funny (?)

Even still, a cheap dirty trick that will no doubt get some attention, provoke ‘outrage’ and generate some buzz.

An alternative strategy would be to try and build a positive profile for the brand and its spokespeople. Either way, My Minx will probably have lots more visitors in the next couple of days, so either way it’ll be positioned as a PR success.

Maddox, three, is said to be Cambodian and a fan of eating cockroaches, and Ethiopian Zahara’s favourite food is the guinea pig – they are named after Ms Jolie’s children.

Jargonbuster: ‘Augmented reality’

January 9, 2010

Wtf is ‘Augmented Reality’?

A number of media experts mentioned it as something that will be big(ger) in 2010. It sounds a bit sci-fi, but it’s probably quite useful to know what it means.

Here are a few definitions I found online:

Wikipedia Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery – creating a mixed reality. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally usable.

Hmm… not sure that really helps. Something about mixed reality and football scores.

HowStuffWorksOn the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.

Okay. So we can use technology to get information/images/etc that’s relevant to our actual location. That’s quite cool. Foursquare’s probably the best example of this in use so far.

To find out more, here’s a Guardian article on how journalists can use augmented reality. It explains the whole concept quite simply –

“Journalism gathers information about the world around us. Thanks to augmented reality, this information can be displayed where it got picked up – which is especially interesting for event reporting.”

Now I’m starting to get it and can see how and why it would work. I’ll quit while I’m ahead – I’m sure we’ll hear more about augmented reality this year. Plus 3D is going to be big apparently, so need to save a bit of brainspace.

Finally, here’s a very cool, early-adopter use of augmented reality by adidas:

Trainers with a code embedded in the tongue – hold it up to a webcam on the website – use trainer as a controller to make it a 3D world – WHOA

theblogpaper – a paper made from blogs!

November 25, 2009

Just when it seemed like London’s freesheet industry had died, along came theblogpaper!

This is a fantastic, innovative idea – a crowdsourced newspaper compiling the best blogs.

People submit blog articles to the website. They’re rated by readers and then the top articles are published in a newspaper.

My definition of ‘printernet‘ has now been widened to include the mutual crossover taking place between print and online media. Theblogpaper is a great example of the constant blurring between ‘old’ and ‘(relatively) new’ technology.

The first issue came out on Friday 20 November (after a pilot in September) and was available at Stratford, Bethnal Green, Old Street, Angel and Holborn train stations.

It’s not yet available outside of London, but theblogpaper has kindly sent me a copy in the post. Can’t wait to see it.

Did you pick up a copy of theblogpaper? What did you think?